Working Paper 59
Regional Organizations and Sanctions Against Members: Explaining the Different Trajectories of the African Union, the League of Arab States, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
The Organization of African Unity (OAU), the League of Arab States (Arab League), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were all established as post-colonial projects with the explicit aim to safeguard state borders and shield sovereign governments from external interference. Yet, their approaches to regional interference in domestic affairs have with time taken on different trajectories. This working paper traces the present diversity in regional approaches to negative sanctions against members back to formative events in the early days of regional cooperation. All three organizations had to confront political problems of substantial regional weight at an early stage: the OAU the apartheid regimes in Southern Africa, ASEAN the Vietnam War, and the Arab League the creation of the state of Israel. The analysis demonstrates that the concepts of the region the organizations articulated as they dealt with these problems continue to inform present positions on involvement in domestic affairs.